Archive for February, 2011

Lemon & Coconut Dal

Coconut Dal

This dal has a bit of a South Indian vibe. It uses the same recipe as my Tadka Dal but with the addition of lemon and coconut milk. Serve with some chapatti and poppadoms.


  • 225g toor dal
  • 750ml water
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 green chillis
  • 1 tbsp sunflower/groundnut oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced/finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 12 curry leaves
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • fresh coriander, a handful


  1. Rinse the lentils and check for little stones. Rinse well using a sieve, then place in a large saucepan along with the water, turmeric and salt. Make an incision in the green chillies and add them too.
  2. Bring to the boil and skim off any scum that rises to the top of the cooking water. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30-35 minutes. Stir regularly as the lentils will stick to the bottom of the pan as the liquid evaporates.
  3. While the lentils are cooking, make the tadka in a separate pan. Heat the butter and oil, then add the whole spices and curry leaves. Stir-fry until the mustard seeds start to pop. Reduce the heat then add the onion and garlic. Cook gently for about 10 minutes or until the onions are soft and browned. Add the chopped tomatoes and ground spices, then cook gently for another 5 minutes.
  4. The lentils should now be fully cooked. Squash the lentils using a potato masher (or use a stick blender) to achieve a creamy consistency. You can add a little extra water if you want a thinner consistency.
  5. Add the tadka to the lentils, then add the coconut milk. Simmer very gently for another 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Stir through the fresh coriander and a good squeeze of lemon juice, then serve.

Serves 2-4.